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Pharmacologic and Nutritional Treatment of Mild Hypertension: Changes in Cardiovascular Risk Status

Albert Oberman, MD; Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, PhD; Herbert G. Langford, MD; M. Donald Blaufox, MD, PhD; Barry R. Davis, MD, PhD; Thomas Blaszkowski, PhD; Neal Zimbaldi; and C. Morton Hawkins, ScD
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant Support: Supported in part by grants HL-30171, HL-24369, HL-30163, and HL-41445 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Requests for Reprints: Albert Oberman, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, MEB-Room 609, University Station, Birmingham, AL 35294.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Oberman: Division of General and Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294.

Dr. Wassertheil-Smoller: Departments of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461.

Dr. Langford: Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216-4505.

Dr. Blaufox: Department of Nuclear Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461.

Drs. Davis and Hawkins and Mr. Zimbaldi: The Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX 77030.

Dr. Blaszkowski: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Federal Building, Room 208, Bethesda, MD 20892.


©1990 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(2):89-95. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-112-2-89
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Objective: To evaluate the 6-month change in cardiovascular (coronary heart disease) risk as a function of diet and drug therapy for mild hypertension.

Design: Collaborative randomized, controlled clinical trial to assess the efficacy of alternative regimens in treating mild hypertension.

Setting: Three university-based tertiary care centers—the Trial of Antihypertensive Interventions and Management (TAIM).

Patients: Six hundred and ninety-two men and women ages 21 to 65 years with diastolic blood pressure between 90 and 100 mm Hg and weight between 110% and 160% of ideal weight.

Measurements and Main Results: Patients stratified by clinical center and race were randomized into diet (usual, low sodium-high potassium, weight loss) and drug (placebo, chlorthalidone, and atenolol) groups resulting in nine diet plus drug combinations. The cardiovascular risk at 6-month follow-up was estimated relative to baseline in 692 participants using the Framingham Study model. Due to the blood pressure reduction, cardiovascular risk declined from baseline for all treatment groups (except the usual diet plus chlorthalidone group because of increased cholesterol levels). The relative cardiovascular risk at 6 months compared to baseline ranged from 0.83 in the weight loss plus atenolol subgroup to 1.03 in the usual diet plus chlorthalidone sub-group. The active drug plus weight loss groups showed the lowest relative cardiovascular risk at 6 months.

Conclusions: Mild hypertension was generally reduced to desirable levels within 6 months by monotherapy. Evaluating blood pressure changes together with the risk factors indicated a differential effect on overall cardiovascular risk depending on the diet and drug used. Dietary therapy, particularly weight reduction, was important adjunctive treatment in reducing overall cardiovascular risk.

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